Last spring, after a fire damaged one of their buildings the Noble Research Institute had some decisions to make.
Building D, which housed research labs, an auditorium, cafeteria, library and offices, was badly damaged by smoke and soot from a fire that started the morning of May 10. After five months of assessment, the institute announced via press release that the building would eventually be demolished, but Director of Communications and Public Relations Adam Calaway said it won’t happen for some time.
“Currently, the board of directors is looking for the next president,” Calaway said. “We know we’re going to take down that building.”
Calaway said the board of directors have opted to wait until they’ve found their next president to make any major changes. Current president Bill Buckner announced his retirement in September, but will serve as president until the foundation hires his replacement.
“They will go through the process to find the right person,” Calaway said.
In the meantime, parts of the building are still in use. The north labs, cafeteria and auditorium are all still in use and will be until the building is demolished. Some portions of the building, however, were rendered useless by smoke damage and soot. Staff members from those areas were relocated to offices in other buildings.
According to a press release, about one third of Noble’s employees worked in Building D, a 160,000 square foot structure, before the fire. No one was harmed, and very few employees were in the building when the fire started.
Calaway said there’s still no word on what caused the fire. Ardmore Fire Department considers the incident accidental.
“It’s a large complex,” Calaway said. “It’s not just one building built in one specific year.”
Calaway said the building was initially built in 1950 and expanded upon throughout the years. The north labs received a construction update last year.